February 7, 2023
Greetings Community Advocates!
Welcome back to our regular Legislative Updates, and happy February.
GENERAL UPDATE FROM AUGUSTA:
After weeks of orientation for the first regular session of the 131st Maine Legislature, committees are beginning to hold hearings. Over 2,000 bill titles were submitted to the Revisor’s Office. Hundreds of these bills are in the process of being published, and we have started to identify bills within the context of the UWSM annual public policy agenda.
MAINE STATE BUDGET:
The Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee is finishing its review of LD 206 – the State supplemental budget for FY22-23, which ends on June 30. The State of Maine requires a balanced budget, and the budget process is a collaboration between the Legislature and the Governor. You can learn more about the Maine Budget Process here.
This week, the AFA is also holding its first public hearings on the proposed Biennial Budget – LD 258 – “An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations from the General Fund and Other Funds for the Expenditures of State Government and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2023, June 30, 2024, and June 30, 2025.”
For more details on the Hearing Schedule, please see the 131st AFA Committee Information page on the Maine Legislature’s website.
LEGISLATION CONNECTED TO THRIVE2027 GOALS 1, 2, & 3:
UWSM supports public policies that advance Thrive2027, a 10-year initiative to achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, financial stability, and health.
So far, in this First Regular Session of the 131st Maine Legislature, UWSM has taken a position to support some of the heating and housing assistance provisions included in LD 3.
LD 3: “An Act to Establish the Winter Energy Relief Payment Program to Aid Residents with High Heating Costs and to Finalize the COVID Pandemic Relief Payment Program” (Presented by Speaker Talbot Ross)
This emergency bill provides relief to certain Maine households to assist them with the high costs for home heating as well as to support housing. The funds allocated in the bill include $40 million to supplement the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, $21 million for emergency housing and $10 million for emergency heating assistance administered through community action programs across the state.
We will keep you posted about other legislative bills we support.
UPDATES FROM UWSM:
GET YOUR TAXES PREPARED FOR FREE WITH CA$H GREATER PORTLAND
CA$H Greater Portland is launching its 2023 free tax preparation service with four convenient options for filing your taxes, including assistance from IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers. If your household earned $60,000 or less in 2022, you may qualify for free tax prep. Learn more and make an appointment at uwsme.org/taxseason/.
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If you would like to know more about how you can advocate for a thriving community, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you for raising your hand and offering your support as a volunteer, donor, and advocate. Together we are creating a Southern Maine where everyone can thrive.
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